Innovation 4 Gold (I4G) Research Program

Innovations 4 Gold (I4G) is an applied sport research and innovation program under the leadership of Own the Podium in partnership with MITACS and Sport Scientist Canada.  The aim is to support scientific and technological initiatives for targeted performance themes benefiting the performance of athletes and supporting the role of the coach or IST member.  

The program is recognized by the Sport Scientist Canada Management Group consisting of representation from Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Institute Network (COPSIN), Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Own the Podium (OTP).  


The focus of these applied I4G research and innovation projects is to help Canada enhance performances at the upcoming Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

OTP recognizes the critical importance of applied sport research and innovation in supporting the daily training environment and at major Games. The purpose of the I4G initiative is threefold: 

  1. Knowledge Ideation – I4G is predicated on generating innovative outputs that will impact podium success. 
  2. Knowledge Transfer - Sharing high performance sport research and innovation throughout the Canadian Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), National Sport Organizations (NSOs)Canadian Universities, and industry.
  3. Knowledge Mobilization - Work closely with targeted NSO’s to enhance performances through sport specific long- term research and innovation. 

There are 3 grants available: 

  • Spark
  • Accelerate
  • Technovate

Application Window is closed until further notice for all grants.

Research & Innovation Strategy

Spark Grant

The Spark Grant supports applied research and innovation in its initial stages, enabling the development of new research questions, experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or innovative ideas. This Grant focuses on field-of-play innovation in its initial stages for immediate performance outcomes.

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Accelerate Grant

The Accelerate Grant supports long-term, multi-year research activity with inclusive learning opportunities for emerging and diverse researchers committed to applied outcomes in training and competition environments. This Grant is partnered with Mitacs and provides opportunities for young researcher-practitioners to work with NSOs in developing new performance-related innovations or gain new insights from rigorous applied research addressing performance gap questions.

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Technovate Grant

The Technovate Grant supports innovative solutions to performance-related challenges, and produces new, performance relevant technology products and applications for the training and competition environment. This Grant is partnered with Mitacs and provides opportunities for young researcher-practitioners to work with NSOs in developing new performance-related technology innovations.

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Defining the differences between Research and Innovation.

The three grants, under the I4G program, support research or innovation projects.  Grants for innovation projects must lead to the implementation of a new product, process, or service and not simply an accepted output of a service provider’s routine role or function. Research projects should involve a scientific process predicated on a well-articulated research question or hypothesis. A methodology (and data analysis approach) is chosen to best address the research question or hypothesis.